Grá - Lycaon (2023)


Hailing from Sweden today we have Grá and their fourth full-length release titled “Lycaon”. For the uninitiated, Grá is the original band from Heljarmadr, Dark Funeral’s current vocalist. Unleashing eight tracks of superbly catchy and in a way a bit retro Black Metal, this release will give you a very nice and eerie Hypocrisy vibe, while delivering its swift punch. If you like old-school Melodic Black Metal, this is certainly an album to explore.

Opening with the superbly catchy “White City Devil”, we immediately got Hypocrisy circa “The Fourth Dimension” vibes and we totally loved it. The band however, keeps things more on the Black Metal side with incisive riffs, crafty drums, and a playful bass guitar line. As “Flame of Hephaestus”, and “Torn Asunder”, one can quickly appreciate that Heljarmadr is also a pretty solid guitarist, as most tracks feature very catchy guitar work that is both engaging and punishing.

The second part of the release gets a bit more interesting with tracks like the album title track and “Brännmärkt” and their atmospheric openings, alongside the funky atmospherics of “Chariots of Fire” mixed in with some blistering retro Heavy Metal-esque guitar leads. Our favorite track has to be the catchy and very engaging “Ett Avskedsbrev”, a song that has the right vibe to chug beer and bang your head.

Closing with the very weird, “Jaw of the Underworld”, Grá manages to keep the listener entertained for the whole duration of the release pulling out of their hats all kinds of different influences. We particularly enjoy that the band is not afraid to try different things as most tracks in “Lycaon” have the band’s core sound mixed in with either atmospherics, extra catchiness, or just some funkiness that keeps the release fresh from start to end.

Band: Grá Album: Lycaon

Label: Avantgarde Music

Release: January 13th, 2023

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Genre: Black Metal

Country: Sweden

Rating: 95/100

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